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Old 17-04-2010, 20:38   #1
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Replacing Bulb at Masthead

Any idea how to replace the light bulb at the masthead without having to take the mast down? pull up to a bridge or something? My mast won't support me climbing up it.

Thanks!
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Old 17-04-2010, 20:53   #2
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Originally Posted by outdoorsman37 View Post
Any idea how to replace the light bulb at the masthead without having to take the mast down? pull up to a bridge or something? My mast won't support me climbing up it.

Thanks!
Why won't the mast support you? Do you have a smaller person available?

How tall is the mast?

The bridge idea is all that I can think of that would be relatively easy.

I have seen smaller boats winched over from the main halyard such that the mast top would be in reach. This has been a boat in a floating dock at low tide. The boat is placed where the masthead would be in reach of the fixed dock (which is much higher relative to the floating part of the dock) and then the boat is winched over to an extreme angle using a turning block or two and the boats winch.

Hard to describe, not extremely difficult to do.
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Old 17-04-2010, 20:53   #3
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I don't have any other ideas. If you can't go up the mast you have to take it down or get to the level of the mast head some other way. Cherry picker maybe?
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Old 18-04-2010, 01:46   #4
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Old 18-04-2010, 06:49   #5
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We use a climbers harness, comonly called a "Suisse Seat" attached to a halyard and using the main winch to raise the top person up the mast to change bulb. Requires two people, one for up the mast the other to work the wich.
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Old 18-04-2010, 06:59   #6
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Only options I see:

1. Climb your own mast
2. Get on something else as high, perhaps the mast of a bigger boat.
3. Take your mast down
4. Forget it and use a hanging anchor light.


You didn't give the size of your boat, but I'm guessing if the rigging won't support someone, it's under 20 feet in which case lowering the mast shouldn't be too hard.
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Old 18-04-2010, 09:08   #7
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It's a 21 foot Islander. Thanks. The mast won't support me right?
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Old 18-04-2010, 09:25   #8
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The mast should support a normal sized person. The question is whether the boat is stable enough to keep it upright with that weight at the top of the mast. Winching the mast down might be the easiest way to do it.
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Old 18-04-2010, 09:36   #9
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You could rent one of those little JLG cherry-pickers. I imagine it would be cheaper to drop the mast though.
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Old 18-04-2010, 10:07   #10
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Sail up to the Bay of Fundy, dock boat, wait for tide to go out!
...you could careen boat and manage to leverage keel to lower
mast...or just take mast down...but I think I would go for hanging out an anchor light myself.
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Old 18-04-2010, 10:21   #11
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Before (and above) the Mast

You may want to consider this mast climber from ATN. It allows you to work above the mast and it's single-hander friendly.
ATN Top Climber

Paul
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Old 18-04-2010, 19:34   #12
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At 21 feet stability is the concern. But the mast should support the weight.

If you have sufficient halyards you could stabilize the boat by runing halyards to opposite sides of a finger dock.

You should also be able to winch the boat over at a pretty good heeling angle - You will need a higher platform from which to reach the mast top.

Another boat
A rasied dock
A pier
A bridge or other structure
Cherry picker


A hanging light temporarily also works until your next haulout/mast drop/inspection.
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